Michigan’s win over Purdue pushed its season back onto the road, but it had a chance to hit cruising speed if it could finish the week with a win over Ohio State. The schedule was undeniably a bear — the Wolverines played Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday — but it was a missed opportunity to take another step forward.
Instead, it was another week of Michigan doing just enough to keep their realistic postseason chances alive.
Saturday’s loss came down to one Big Ten Player of the Year candidate outplaying the other. Both Ohio State and Michigan rely on their starting big man to do just about everything offensively, and they answer the challenge more often than not. Dickinson averaged 22 points per game over the last nine games, while EJ Liddell averaged 21 in the previous eight. When the stars play well, their teams win.
Liddell got the best of the showdown on Saturday, finishing with 28 points on 8-of-17 shooting and three crucial blocks, while Dickinson played his least efficient offensive game since December 1st at North Carolina, scoring 14 points on 7-of-17 shooting with three turnovers.